Oliver Soomets & Argo Männik


Oliver Soomets was born on May 17, 1980, in Tartu. In his childhood and adolescence, he was involved in world-class competitive dance sport. From 1999, he studied architecture and urban planning at the Estonian Academy of Arts, graduating in 2005. During his studies, he briefly worked as an architecture journalist, writing commissioned articles for mainstream media, and also participated in several productions and musicals as a dancer. Concurrently with his studies, he founded and led the Estonian Breakdance Union (EBL) and the Estonian Young Architects Union (ENAL), and organized the international street dance competition Battle of Est (BOE) until 2015. After graduating, he worked as an architect at the Architecture Agency and Alliance Architects until 2014.

Since 2015, he has been a self-taught freelance contemporary artist, whose work can be classified as pop-neosymbolist. He innovatively uses various materials and technologies in his works, but concrete remains a recurring motif. In his relatively short career as an artist, he has created over 50 works and won 11 public art competitions. He has not yet held a solo exhibition but has participated in group exhibitions.

The inspiration and subject matter of his works are large and timeless questions, implicitly based on scientific implications. As an artist, he is open to creative collaboration with anyone who can think across disciplines and creatively. As a result, he has collaborated on several projects and designs with many interdisciplinary contemporary Estonian artists. Since 2019, he has been teaching courses related to public art at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Baltic Film and Media School. In his spare time, he continues to teach various dance styles at several dance schools. He is a father of two and is passionate about painting and playing chess.